17th Mar 2016 7:00pm
Marx Memorial Library, London
Researcher and lecturer Annebella Pollen, author of The Kindred of the Kibbo Krift, discusses the camping and campaigning movement.
In 1916, when artist and Boy Scout leader John Hargrave returned from war service as a stretcher-bearer in the disastrous Dardanelles campaign, he looked at his beloved youth movement with new eyes. Its methods seemed militaristic and increasingly imperialist. As Scout Commissioner for Camping and Woodcraft, Hargrave had long believed that adolescent boys needed opportunities to release their 'savage' characteristics by performing primitive behaviour away from overly-sophisticated 'civilisation'. The devastation brought by the so-called mechanised death of the Great War required radical action; such outdoor cultural reconstruction was now needed by all ages and both genders. To this end, Hargrave engineered a split from the scouts in 1920 to establish a new camping and campaigning movement, The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift. Formed of disaffected youth leaders, spiritual seekers and reformers of all stripes, the new group aimed not only to develop constructive and educational leisure experiences for children but also to design and lead a new world.